Last Updated: January 8, 2018


An alphabetical list of terms or words found in or relating to a specific subject, text, or dialect, with explanations; a brief dictionary.

Our 'specific subject' ... Truck Camping.


110/120v (high voltage) is a common standard house voltage.

12v known as low voltage, this voltage is achieved by "stepping down", reducing/converting standard 110/120v high voltage into 12v low voltage with the aid of a transformer.

6.2 liter engine describes the total displacement of all eight cylinders. Each cylinder of a V8 engine has a volume of 0.775 liters. A liter is 1000 cubic cm. 

AGM (absorbent glass mat) AGM batteries differ from flooded lead acid batteries in that the electrolyte is held in the glass mats, as opposed to freely flooding the plates. Very thin glass fibres are woven into a mat to increase surface area enough to hold sufficient electrolyte on the cells for their lifetime.

ampere hour (abbreviated Ah, or sometimes amp-hour) is the amount of energy charge in a battery that will allow one ampere of current to flow for one hour.

anti-sway bar (roll bar, anti-roll bar, sway bar, stabilizer bar) is a part of many automobile suspensions that helps reduce the body roll of a vehicle during fast cornering or over road irregularities. It connects opposite (left/right) wheels together through short lever arms linked by a torsion spring. A sway bar increases the suspension's roll stiffness—its resistance to roll in turns, independent of its spring rate in the vertical direction. The first stabilizer bar patent was awarded to Canadian inventor Stephen Coleman of Fredericton, New Brunswick on April 22, 1919.

axle ratio is a comparison of the number of gear teeth on the ring gear of the rear axle and the pinion gear on the driveshaft. For example, a 3.73:1 ratio means there are 3.73 teeth on the axle's ring gear for each tooth on the driveshaft's pinion gear.

battery separators are switches that can direct current, enabling a primary and auxiliary bank of batteries to be charged from a single source, using a solenoid. If the drain on the charging system by the auxiliary or main battery bank reduces the system voltage below a certain point, it will disconnect the battery banks from each other, protecting them from excessive drain.

boondocking (wild-campingoff-grid, primitive) is essentially camping without hookups in a completely undeveloped area.

british thermal unit (Btu or BTU) is a traditional unit of heat; it is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

bypass valve is the name for one or more valves that allow the fresh water supply to bypass the water heater during winterization.

cabover struts (camper stabilisers) dampen the tendency of the heavy cab-over area of the camper to porpoise (front/rear undulating motion) on wavy roads. On rolling highways it's easy to see the dampening effect they have on the cabover. Porpoising does not feel as severe as it was without them.

centre of gravity (COG) is the exact point around which an object, such as a vehicle, is perfectly balanced in every direction. It is the centre point of the vehicle's mass.

chassis cab (or cab chassis) is a body style, and type of vehicle construction, often found in medium duty truck commercial vehicles. Instead of supplying the customer with a factory pre-assembled flatbed, cargo container, or other equipment—the customer is given the vehicle with just "chassis" rails and a "cab".

chassis mount camper The truck’s bed is removed and the camper is permanently installed to the chassis of the truck.  These can also be classified as Class C  camper.

class 3 covers a GVWR of 10,001 – 14,000 lbs. The F350 is in this class.

coil spring rate is the amount of weight required to deflect a spring one inch. The lower the spring rate, the softer the spring.

cold cranking amps (CCA) is a rating used in the battery industry to define a battery's ability to start an engine in cold temperatures. The rating refers to the number of amps a 12-volt battery can deliver at 0°F for 30 seconds while maintaining a voltage of at least 7.2 volts.

compression travel is a measurement of the amount the suspension will compress before it bottoms-out against its travel-stops. This travel-stop is also called a "bump-stop" and "jounce-stop".

converter (regulator) is an electrical device that converts the voltage from alternating current (AC / 120v) to direct current (DC / 12v)

curb weight (American English) or kerb weight (British English) is the total weight of a vehicle with standard equipment, all necessary operating consumables such as motor oil, transmission oil, coolant, air conditioning refrigerant, and sometimes a full tank of fuel, while not loaded with either passengers or cargo.

dry camping means staying in a campground without hookups.

dry weight is the actual weight of a truck camper containing standard equipment without passengers, or optional equipment.

electronic locking differential provides increased traction compared to a standard, or "open" differential by restricting each of the two wheels on an axle to the same rotational speed without regard to available traction or differences in resistance seen at each wheel.

flat-bed camper (truck tray camper) is a camper mounted onto a flatbed tray instead of inside a pickup trucks bed. The tray is usually made of aluminium. This configuration allows for the addition of multiple storage boxes to be added.

four season package (arctic package) Specialized equipment added to an RV that includes extra insulation, double glazed windows, window coverings and heating pads for holding tanks for winter usage.

full floating axle Heavy-duty ¾ tons, 1 tons and above are designed to be loaded all of the time. They have twice as many tapered bearings in the rear axle. It’s called a full floating axle, similar to semi-truck eighteen-wheelers. With the heavy duty ¾ ton, 1 ton trucks and larger, the rear axle housing will actually stick out past the wheel and have an additional 8 bolts on the end of the hub holding the axle into the wheel hub with the axle “floating” between between the wheel hub and differential. It provides a more even weight distribution over the axle than a semi-floating axle.

glamping is also known as luxury camping or glamorous camping.

gross axle weight rating (GAWR) is the specific weight determined by the manufacturer to be the maximum allowable weight that can be placed on an individual axle. 

gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is the maximum allowed weight for a vehicle with all of its contents and passengers along with the weight of any towed vehicle and its contents. Known in some RVing circles as CGVWR. Also known as Train Weight in the UK.

gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), or gross vehicle mass (GVM) is the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer including the vehicle's chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers and cargo but excluding that of any trailers.

helper springs (overload springs) are a suspension enhancement product engineered to enhance, support, and help various types of original equipment suspension. There are two basic types of helper springs: steel springs and pneumatic springs, more commonly known as air springs.

horsepower is a unit that used to measure the power of engines and motors. One unit of horsepower is equal to the power needed to lift 550 pounds one foot in one second. This unit has been widely replaced by the watt in scientific usage; one horsepower is equal to 745.7 watts.

house is another name for the TC's living space.

house batteries are the battery or group of batteries that supply 12-volt DC power for lights, alarms, radios, etc. in the TC. The house battery bank also powers the inverter if one is present. 

inverter is an electrical device that converts the voltage from direct current (DC / 12v) to alternating current (AC / 120v).

jounce is the inward reaction of the spring and shock absorber when a wheel hits an obstruction.

light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device that emits visible light when an electric current passes through it.

limited slip differentials Generally in a limited slip rear end a clutch engages when the right wheel, which is the driver, spin’s, allowing both wheels to give you traction. It’s usually beneficial to have it unless you are pulling heavy loads most of the time and on dirt or mud wearing the clutch in the differential.

locking hubs In some vehicles, manual locking hubs are used to engage the front wheels. This requires getting in/out of the vehicle to engage or disengage the front wheels. ... This might not be possible if the vehicle gets completely stuck before 4WD has been engaged, meaning automatic hubs require more caution on the driver's part.

marine cranking amps (MCAis a rating used in the battery industry to define a battery's ability to start an engine in cold temperatures. The rating refers to the number of amps a 12-volt battery can deliver at 32°F for 30 seconds while maintaining a voltage of at least 7.2 volts.

maximum tire load is the most weight the tire is designed to carry. Since a tire's load carrying capacity is related to the tire's size and how much inflation pressure is actually used, maximum loads are rated with the tire inflated to an industry assigned inflation pressure.

moochdocking (driveway surfing) is derived from the words boondocking and moocher. Boondocking – which generally means camping for free, on public land, out in the boonies. And, moocher… well it’s a shaded term that describes a beggar or scrounger. 

mono beam axle (beam axle, rigid axle or solid axle) is a dependent suspension design, in which a set of wheels is connected laterally by a single beam or shaft. 

OEM (original equipment manufacturer) Sometimes refers to the vehicle builder ie. Ford, GMC, Ram.

overlanding describes self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. While expedition is defined as a journey with a purpose, overlanding sees the journey as the purpose.

payload refers to how much weight a truck can safely carry in both passengers and cargo in the cab and bed.

pop-up camper These feature a roof that lowers while driving and raises while parked and camping.  The pop-up feature are mostly found on the slide-in style camper.  They can include a cab over section or not have one.  The biggest advantage to the pop is improved manoeuvrability while on the road. 

porpoising is a term used to define the fore and aft rocking in an TC while travelling. The regular spacing of the joints in concrete highways frequently causes porpoising.

rebound occurs when the suspension system expands. This occurs after jounce or when a wheel goes through a pot hole.

receiver hitch (tow hitch) is a device attached to the chassis of a vehicle for towing.

registered gross weight (RGW) determines the fee paid for truck licence plates. RGW is based on, and must be at least equal to the actual weight of the truck, or truck and trailer(s) and load(s).

shock absorber Your shock absorbers are the primary suspension components that actually help "absorb shock" preventing continued bounce every time you accelerate, stop, corner or hit a bump. Shock absorbers are designed to slow and reduce these movements to help control the weight of the vehicle during transitions and allow your tires to perform better.

shore power is electricity provided to the TCby an external source other than the TC's batteries genset or inverter.

slide-in camper (demount-able or dis-mountable in Europe) In North America the term truck camper and its derived acronym TC, are generally used to refer to any recreational vehicle or RV that may be carried in the bed of a pickup truck. 

solar power controller (see solar regulator) is an electronic unit, which receives the raw power from solar panels and limits the voltage and power passed on to the TC's 12-volt system. It prevents overcharging of the batteries while allowing the maximum usable power to be used. 

solar regulator is a small box consisting of solid state circuitry that is placed between a solar panel and a battery. Its function is to regulate the amount of charge coming from the panel that flows into the deep cycle battery bank in order to avoid the batteries being overcharged.

springs in your suspension hold up the weight of the vehicle and help resist pitch to the front and rear, and (in conjunction with the vehicle's sway bars) resist lean to the side.

squatting is the tendency of the rear end of a vehicle to press down on its springs. 

sunbird (old term snowbird) A class of RVer that migrates south during the winter months in search of warmer weather and to escape snow.

tire load index on a vehicle tire is a numerical code stipulating the maximum load (mass, or weight) each tire can carry.

tire size The first three-digit number in the tire size refers to the tire width. For instance, in a size 295/70R18 tire, the width is 295 millimeters. The two-digit number after the slash mark in a tire size is the aspect ratio. For example, in a size 295/70R18 tire, the 70 means that the height is equal to 70% of the tire's width. The bigger the aspect ratio, the bigger the tire's sidewall will be. A size 295/70R18 tire is made for a wheel with a 18" diameter.

torque is the tendency of a force to move around a point. In other words, torque refers to twisting force. The unit of measure for torque that we all know, the “ft-lb,” “lb-ft,” or “foot-pound” is the amount of turning force applied to move one pound a distance of one foot around an axis at a radius of one foot.

tow/haul provides more pulling, stopping or steering power to compensate for a heavy trailer or load. The system holds lower gears longer during acceleration or deceleration.

wet weight (cargo weight) is the actual weight of all items added to the dry weight of the camper. This includes personal cargo, optional equipment, and supplies.

wild camping (backcountry camping) means camping without infrastructure, you should be prepared to take care of such needs as cooking, water and toilets. In some countries the term applies to vehicle supported camping.


No comments:

Post a Comment